Founding Director of the West Africa Heart for Crop Improvement Prof. Eric Danquah is calling for the establishment of a National Agriculture Authority (NAA) to control and oversee the transformation of agriculture for socio-economic development less than the Ghana Beyond Aid Initiative.
He also would like federal government to set up a National Agriculture Progress Fund into which funding to the tune of at least 1% of Ghana’s GDP will be invested to finance progress of the agricultural sector. Personal sector will also be encouraged to add to the progress of the nation by that fund.
The University of Ghana professor wishes the fund and authority to be recognized by an act of parliament. The authority will be liable for oversight of agricultural instruction, exploration, innovation and improvement, as effectively as modernize agriculture by way of the advancement of commodity worth chains.
Prof. Danquah is proposing that the fund to be recognized is managed by the Countrywide Agriculture Authority and a Scientific Advisory Committee with illustration from numerous science organisations. “It is significant that the composition of the NAA which must have illustration from the sector Ministries of Agriculture, Training, Finance and Atmosphere, Science, Technological innovation & Innovation is carefully reasoned and should really not sacrifice meritocracy,” he said.
Prof. Danquah was talking during a webinar session organised by the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) on the impact of Covid-19 pandemic on the agricultural sector in Ghana. He noticed meals programs are extremely prone to shocks and the Covid-19 pandemic is just a further warning signal since there could be more devastating shocks in the upcoming.
“These are not normal situations. Presented that the Covid-19 pandemic is just a warning signal and there could be more devastating potential occasions, Ghana must choose its long run in its very own palms and change its agriculture to protected the foreseeable future of the place as properly as generate socio-economic progress. A well-funded National Agriculture Authority to be established by legislation with independent powers is absolutely the way to go,” he mentioned.
“The agricultural sector must be the essential driving pressure for national enhancement and this pandemic obviously obligates us to choose urgent action to improve efficiency in our commodity worth chains. We simply cannot achieve meals and diet safety by doing small business as regular. We would be reckless to consider so,” Prof. Danquah observed.
“A having difficulties nation which expended in excess of US$2billion on food items imports in 2019 by yourself should be quite troubled about the future since tough periods lie in advance and the informal food devices and dependency on exports demand that we assume out of the box in proffering remedies,” he extra.
The webinar by AGRA was beneath the concept impression of Covid-19 on Agriculture in Ghana: Reaction of the seed field.
“We ought to acquire tactics to be self-reliant in investigation, innovation and growth. We ought to make certain that our countrywide research institutions including the universities (which ought to be hubs for innovation) and their partners are effectively set up to provide an uninterrupted plan to get enhanced, wholesome and resilient types to farmers and marketplaces. Modern-day storage systems to minimize food stuff spoilage are also urgently essential to build reserves to be certain optimum long-expression storage.
“Agriculture driven by science and know-how should underpin our countrywide progress agenda. We cannot await the passage of the Plant Breeders Bill to travel a more competitive seed market for food and nourishment security,” he included.
He referred to as for elevated funding and general public and personal sector collaboration to accelerate the development of the region.
Executive Secretary of the National Seed Trade Association of Ghana (NASTAG) Mrs. Augusta Nyamadi Clottey who participated in the webinar noticed Covi-19 will drive the players in the seed marketplace additional to get the job done more durable in direction of encouraging local manufacturing of good quality seeds.
Dr. Solomon Gyan Ansah who is a Deputy Director of Agriculture and Head of the Seed Device at the Directorate of Crop Expert services of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture mentioned agricultural extension is critical if farmers can be encouraged to adopt enhanced seeds like hybrids.
He termed for good procedures of extension in the light of Covid-19 including digital solutions that takes advantage of tools like mobile phones.
Josiah Wobil who is chairman of the Countrywide Seed Council Ghana identified as for a re-positioning of the agricultural sector so it can perform superior part in the growth of the region. Mr. Benjamin Adjei who is Assistant Representative to Ghana for the Food items and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) explained it is significant that each individual nation will work to enhanced seed stability.
He known as for the growth of capacities and institution of additional infrastructure domestically to make sure a sustainable seed system in the nation.